mediate oman - media analysis
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DESCRIPTIONMediate is an annual publication published by SABCO Press, Publishing & Advertising LLC in Oman. Mediate is a SABCO Media product. TOP was part of 2014 edition, sharing our knowledge and insights about the Omani market.
- 1. 11An Incomprehensible GapConventional wisdom dictates that marketers advertise in a medium close to customers but, strangely, Omanbelies the trend companies continue to spend most of their advertising budgets on print media even thoughconsumers have migrated to social and digital media platforms.Rajesh RamanVice President, Y&R Muscat and Menacom GroupThe fragmentednature of regionalchannels makes itdifficult to pick andchoose the rightadvertising mediumfor most companiesin OmanTechnology is the biggest game changer in the world and isimpacting the media industry in myriad ways from changingthe way media is consumed, to forcing bricks-and-mortarcompanies to adapt and reinvent themselves. GCC countriesare also feeling the cross currents of this new wave, as a tech-savvy,younger demographic ditches traditional forms of mediain favour of new-age devices and social media options such asFacebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Evenif the younger generation has not completely given up onnewspapers, magazines, television and so on, they are moreinclined to get their daily dose of news on gadgets such astablets, iPhones, Android devices and smartphones.The media has changed. Earlier there were three channels the sender, the receiver and the medium but new mediais completely different, says Sayyid Nasr Bin Badr Al Busaidi,Member of the National Youth Commission, and Chairpersonof the Communication and Public Relations sub-committee ofthe National Youth Commission. The sender can be anyone,it need not necessarily be a PR practitioner. The channel canbe a smartphone or a tablet and the receiver can be anyone.In Oman, we have started to understand new media and,while traditional media is still valid, we at the National YouthCommission regularly use social media to reach out to theyouth.While this tectonic shift is changing the media landscape, thereseems to be a disconnection between where the readers/viewers are in Oman and where most advertisers are puttingtheir money. Although most new age consumers are on socialmedia and digital platforms, advertisers are still allocating mostOMAN ADSPEND - MEDIA SPLIT - 2012/13STATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013MEDIA AMOUNT % SHARE AMOUNT % SHARE % CHANGENewspaper 95,121,604 85% 93,421,366 85% -2%Television 4,322,235 4% 3,330,924 3% -23%Magazine 4,009,465 4% 3,906,996 4% -3%Outdoor 5,106,573 5% 5,234,237 5% 2%Radio 3,320,000 3% 3,506,000 3% 6%Totals 111,879,877 109,399,523Note: Information based on IPSOS and other inferred sources.
2. 12Greg YoungChief Executive OfficerNawrasof their advertising spending to traditional media platforms suchas newspapers. Moreover, media entities across categories such as print, television, radio and outdoors see their presentrole as merely carrying advertisements of clients. They feel thatshowcasing or airing clients adverts is enough. But as mediaoptions increase and the highly interactive social media sectorgrows, companies and clients are looking for enhanced value andsolutions from the media. Media entities that do not graduate toseeing themselves as partners and bring more to the table willlose ground in the coming years.The media in Oman needs to start delivering solutions andlearn to work with clients and consumers as equal stakeholders.There is a vital need to become more accountable by bringingin new metrics such as measurability, return on investment andtransparency.The splitsDespite the advent of social media, newspapers continuedto garner the lions share of the advertising pie last year withRO93.42 million a whopping 85 per cent share of the totalspend. The big shift is that for the first time in years, the share ofnewspapers has gone down by two per cent, a sure sign of thechanging times.Television is the other big loser with a 23 per cent reduction inadvertising spending. TV spending dropped from RO4.32m in2012 to RO3.33m last year. This reflects the weakness of OmanTV from a content and viewership point of view and its limitationsas an advertising option. Secondly, the fragmented nature ofregional channels makes it difficult to pick and choose the rightadvertising medium for most companies in Oman. Finally, theprohibitive cost of advertising on regional TV channels makes itdifficult for local companies to use it as an effective medium.Advertising spending in magazines also continued its downwardslide, with a three per cent drop to RO3.9m. Magazines seem to becaught between two stools of mass media, such as newspapers,and new media options such as radio and outdoors.Radio enjoyed the biggest gain among all media, with advertisingspending increasing by six per cent to RO3.5m last year. The risereflects the growing acknowledgement of radio as the next bigfrontier for marketers. The medium has strong tailwinds helpingit, such as growing traffic, more listeners and greater awareness.The other big winner was the outdoor sector, which had a twoper cent rise in advertising spending, touching a high of RO5.23m.Social Media: An Opportunity in WaitingStill in its infancy in comparison with other mediums, socialand digital medias growing pervasiveness and importance is atopic that occupies much thought, from boardrooms to casualconversation.Social media as a communication media is something that hasits ear to the ground and affects perceptions it has an effecton buying decisions and has become a very critical part of ourcommunications mix, says Greg Young, chief executive ofNawras. We have had a very strong focus on it from the verybeginning. In many ways, it is complementary to our businessas it drives telecom connectivity and demand from broadband.It is a double-edged benefit for us it is both a ear to marketand a engagement with customers, or potential customers, and astimulator for our business. So there is a double reason for us toengage or stimulate social media.Rajesh Raman, vice president at Y&R Muscat and MenacomGroup, adds: There has been a growth in digital and more clientsare getting a better understanding of the medium. We are seeingone or two specialised digital agencies as well, and it is a servicerequirement for more clients earlier you would not present adigital plan at the concept stage. As the base is small, the growthis looking more significant though it is still a minor part of theoverall budget. But it has grown phenomenally it has almostdoubled over the last year.Felicity Glover, the managing editor of Y Magazine, says socialand digital media are crucial elements that should be included inall media and advertising strategies."The global explosion of social and digital media means thatnobody can afford to omit these platforms from their strategies,"she says. "Savvy marketing and advertising specialists know this,Social media as a communicationmedia is something that has its ear tothe ground and affects perceptions ithas an effect on buying decisions andhas become a very critical part of ourcommunications mix Greg Young 3. 14but the ones who are resisting it are putting a lot at risk, includingrevenue, reach and brand awareness."Mediate carried out a Media Consumption Survey in Oman witha sample size of 2,559, and the survey corroborated the growingstrength of social media in Oman. For example, it found that: Newspapers are no longer the number one consumedmedia (48.1 per cent). TV is now on top with a 64 per centshare, but the consumption of local/regional channels isless than international channels. Magazines (53.3 per cent)and tabloids (53.7 per cent) are also consumed more thannewspapers, probably because they are free to pick up; 47.77 per cent of the respondents spent less than 15 minutesreading newspapers, while 29.04 per cent spent less than 30minutes; Facebook and WhatsApp dominate the social media scene,with Twitter, YouTube and Instagram also catching up.High usage of YouTube indicates the accessibility of higherbandwidth for customers; 36.93 per cent of people spend between three and sixhours on social media every day, while 31.99 per cent spendanywhere between one and two hours. The high use of socialmedia indicates the use of multiple social media platformsand digital sites by consumers.The Online Project (TOP) also carried out a survey to determinewhat was occupying the time of youth in the Arab world. InOman, users spend more than 35 per cent of their time onsocial media, predominantly Facebook, followed by Twitter (alittle more than 20 per cent). Instagram and YouTube came ina distant third with a 10 per cent usage, followed by Keek andSnapchat. Interestingly, LinkedIn and Pinterest are not verypopular in Oman.Oman has 860,000 Facebook users the second lowest in theregion after Bahrain, which has 560,000. Saudi Arabia boasts themost users at 8.6 million. The same is true of Twitter, with Omanhaving 80,800 users compared with Saudi Arabias 2.41m activeusers.The average cost per fan in Oman is $0.38 (RO0.15). This is thesecond lowest in the region after Saudi Arabia, where cost perfan is $0.35. In comparison, the cost per fan in Bahrain is $0.43;Kuwait is $0.41; Qatar is $0.45; and the UAE is $0.43.In Oman, the fashion industry spends the most, $0.54, to gain afan, while public figures spend the least, just $0.24, to acquirea fan.Social Media During Ramadan in OmanConstant growth in the consumption of social media platformsin the Middle East means they are among the most instrumentalvehicles brands use to connect with audiences. Online platformsare an essential part of marketing strategies, specifically whileengaging through bigger campaigns. Such campaigns are usuallydone during Ramadan.Savvy marketing andadvertising specialists knowthis, but the ones who areresisting it are putting a lotat risk, including revenue,reach and brand awareness Felicity GloverSaleem Ahmed AbdullatifGeneral Manager of Marketing, Consumer Business Unit, Omantel 4. 15The Holy Month has a clear effect on peoples behaviours anddaily routines in the Middle East, according to the TOP study.This also reflects consumption habits of social media. Such asurge in activity levels inspired brands to flock to social mediato drive engagement and increase their share of voice. Brandsare dedicating bigger budgets for social media because theyunderstand that more users will be online and will be hungry toengage.Social media usage in Oman during Ramadan: People in Oman engage slightly more on Twitter, with 51 percent of all tweets being replies and retweets; Omanis tweet in Arabic most of the time 79 per cent oftweets are in Arabic, with 21 per cent in English; Omanis tweet mostly from mobile devices, with a higherpercentage from Android devices (49 per cent) followed byiOS, with 29 per cent of tweets. Web-based tweets make up12 per cent of all tweets.The topics tweeted about in Oman last Ramadan were mostlyrelated to the Holy Month, but many of them were also aboutthe Sultanate. The most active times were between 7pm and9pm.Not only do people change the entire course of their dailylives during Ramadan, but they also change their online usagebehaviour and activity, says Halaby, co-founder and businessdevelopment director for TOP. Brands and marketers must, inreturn, anticipate said behavioural changes and adapt to themaccordingly. Some of these changes include a shift in postingtimes and in customising their content according to fan interestsand tastes. Capturing the attention of your audience when theyare most online promises a positive ripple effect.To optimise social media best practices for brand engagementduring Ramadan, publishing times and content mix must bealtered according to the shift in the habits of the fan base acrossall platforms.By tuning into these habits, brands and marketers will have adeep and thorough understanding of their target audience inregards to their characteristics, preferences, lifestyle. This inreturn will ensure greater relevance of content and will humanisethe brand in the eyes of customers, thus creating a strongerrelationship with followers, says Firas Steitiyeh, managingdirector of TOP in Amman, Jordan.A company called iStrategyLabs in the US conducted a surveythis year which found that there had been a major drop in youthadoption of Facebook, with a migration to social media platformssuch as Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. The research madeheadlines worldwide, igniting debates on whether this heraldedthe demise of Facebook.We wanted to see whether something similar was happeningin the GCC region. We found that on the contrary, Facebook isa dominant and growing social media platform with aggressivegrowth rates in Oman, Egypt and Iraq, says Halaby. In Oman,Facebook grew by 110 per cent last year.Oman also stands out for another reason. Oman has one ofthe highest use of smartphones/mobile devices for Twitter andFacebook usage in the region. This is an important developmentthat advertisers need to factor in to their campaign strategy,says Roula Khatib, TOPs head of advertising.According to a July 2014 study by We Are Social, mobilesubscription penetration in Oman has reached a whopping 174per cent. This compares with a global average of 98 per cent.Indeed, the penetration rate of mobile subscriptions across theGCC is way above the global average: Kuwait comes out on topwith 212 per cent, followed by Bahrain with 193 per cent, Saudiwith 188 per cent and the UAE with 168 per cent.Ramzi HalabyCo founder and Business Development Director, The Online Project (TOP)We found that on the contrary, Facebookis a dominant and growing social mediaplatform with aggressive growth rates inOman, Egypt and Iraq Ramzi Halaby 5. 1166In the past, people would build mobile websites and adopt themto mobile platforms, but with mobile penetration now higher, itis the other way around.Spending on digital media has increased, but in most markets,marketers face a three-part journey before they come to termswith social media. Phase 1: Most companies are hesitant and have concerns for example, a chief executive wants to be on social mediaas he wants to have a presence or a fan base, but mostof them do not understand the requirements of a properengagement strategy for their brands. Phase 2: This is the testing phase when companies experiencea learning curve. They handle the work themselves or use anagency and acquire a better understanding of what worksfor them and what does not. Phase 3: Companies discover what social media means tothem and how much to spend on it. By this point they are ina position to define the value and return on investment thatsocial media can add to the bottom line.Most companies in Oman are probably in the second phaseof this journey. Any company that is keen to understandsocial media can do so there is a lot of information availablepublicly and there are a numberof conferences, influencers andthought leaders who are ready toshare knowledge. It is important forcompanies to know who is on whichsocial media platform and when.Based on this insight, they can boosttheir advertising returns.The budget to be allocated to socialmedia is a tricky question thatconfuses most companies. It is allabout the objective of the client.When it comes to social media, youcan spend as low as one dollar to ashigh as multi-million dollars, basedon multiple factors. A specialisedagency can help clients to maximisereturns, says Steitiyeh. Socialmedia is very measurable and oncethe objectives have been defined,one can measure as how the ad spends are helping you to getthere.Halaby, from TOP, adds: Earlier, clients were cutting from mediaspends on other media, but social media is now getting its ownallocation.Three years ago, it would come out of the traditional mediabudget, but now companies are allocating specifically for socialmedia and this is coming from erstwhile print or outdoor budgets,as they are the biggest portion.Purists maintain that social media is an engagement platformNarayan IyerGeneral Manager, OHI Leo BurnettBy tuning into these habits, brandsand marketers will have a deep andthorough understanding of theirtarget audience in regards to theircharacteristics, preferences, lifestyle.This in return will ensure greaterrelevance of content and will humanisethe brand in the eyes of customers,thus creating a stronger relationshipwith followers - Firas Steitiyeh 6. 18and advertising mitigates users experiences. Companies whichoveruse or intrude on the user experience run the risk ofoffending their customers, while something that is understatedmay fail to catch their eye.The idea is not to intrude on the user experience, says Khatib.Engaging content or something that appeals to users scoresmuch higher than product-related plugs on social media. Peopleare not on social media to read advertisements that appear innewspapers and magazines, and a number of companies arelooking at a content-led strategy.With a marked shift towards digital, it is imperative that agenciesinvest in capabilities in this domain. Not doing so could prove tobe their death knell. Asha Advertising recently tied up with theHavas Group to boost its digital muscle.As a local agency, there are always challenges regarding thequality of talent that you can hire, the core specialities that youcan create, because of the size of the market and you need tosustain that, says Ajit Singh, group general manager for retail atAsha Enterprises, which includes Havas Oman. With a networkbehind you, one can leverage regional and global strengths.Havas International has been strong in the digital space and wehave been able to leverage that learning.Sensing its growing importance and future potential, mostagencies are investing resources in the digital space. With abooming youth population who are extremely mobile savvy, itis a no-brainer that you will have to invest in technology anddigital to reach out to them, says Raman. We have invested in adigital media planner, who has had experience in other markets we are investing in creative people who have a background indigital. We have access to regional resources who have worked inmarkets, which are much more sophisticated in the digital spaceand we are learning from their best practices.While the growing importance of digital is a no-brainer, thereis a more pertinent question what is the role of social mediain terms of engagement versus advertising? Social media isan engagement platform that ensures your brand engagespositively with consumers. This notion of engagement opens upthe opportunity of carefully understanding consumer desires,Ahmed Essa al ZedjaliCEO, Muscat Press and Publishing House and Editor-in-Chief, Al Shabiba 7. 19behaviour and so on, and this information can be used fortargeted, tactical digital advertising by knowing where yourconsumers frequent digitally.We all understand the importance of digital but we are notclear about what marketers want from social or digital, saysMohammad Al Farei, managing director at the Zeenah Group.Everyone wants to have a presence on digital and social butthe question is, what are their objectives? If it is only aboutpushing your messages, then it becomes a mere communicationtool, which is not even 10 per cent of the possibilities thatdigital media can achieve. In a nutshell, digital is all about atwo-way conversation and connecting people. Unfortunately,most marketers today are using digital as a platform to pushtheir messages rather than conversing with the audience. Onsocial and digital media it is very much possible to do targetedadvertising for your focus group. We can reach out to a certaintarget group using the digital platform.There are those who feel that social media is a necessary evil andbrands need to engage, but who do not expect a sharp spike insales due to their digital presence. Whether one agrees with themarketing potential of digital social media or not, advertisers,agencies and the media should ignore its potential at their peril.With social media opening up avenues for people to promotetheir products or brands, the PR space is also expected to changefor the betterHowever, there are some who point to the substandard quality ofpress releases in Oman, and other woes.Finding a PR agency that will take on a one-off product orcampaign is impossible. We had a retainer with a PR agency forseveral years and all the PRs looked identical, as if they werewritten by the same person. One did not even have to read thePR because the build-up, the middle and the end were almostthe same, they just changed the quotes in the middle, says KimJepsen, general manager of IDdesign.As social media becomes more prominent, companies andmarketers can use it to promote their products directly tocustomers, potentially cutting out the middleman.This year has seen a few other positive changes companieshave a better understanding about the need to engage withusers. The tipping point of social media spending seems to bearound the corner and it is just a matter of time before the scalestip decisively in its favour.Client Expectations and NeedsFrom an advertisers point of view, media is a bridge betweena brand or company and the consumer. The medias role is toshowcase, inform and educate the consumer about the brand.Unfortunately, there seems to be a disconnection between clientexpectations and what the media and agencies are delivering inOman.Engaging content or something thatappeals to users scores much higherthan product-related plugs on socialmedia. People are not on social mediato read advertisements that appearin newspapers and magazines, and anumber of companies are looking at acontent-led strategy - Roula Khatib 8. newspapers, the challenge is their circulation and, being a smallmarket, the number of titles is endless. None of the publicationsknow as to what they are doing, who is reading them and what istheir circulation.Overlooking these drawbacks could prove to be a costly mistake forthe media. To cite an example, the telecom sector is spending lessglobally because of enhanced competition, reduced margins andmarket saturation in terms of penetration. This is forcing telecomcompanies to look for lower-cost mediums to engage with itscustomers.Nawras is undergoing a rebranding exercise and will becomeOoredoo. The exercise focuses on the translation of the Nawrasbrand, brand equity and values into the Ooredoo brand. The shift willalso bring about changes in the way the company/brand advertises.The rebranding will drive some inherent changes in our advertisingstrategy, says Young. Right now, only 30 per cent of Omanis watchOman-based TV channels the other 70 per cent comes out ofregionalised TV. The reality is that the delivery mechanism cannotbe segmented to certain countries. As Nawras, which is an Omanicompany operating in a small market, I cannot afford to buy primetimespace on OSN, NBC or any of the regional satellite delivery platforms,but Ooredoo can do so. This is one of the demonstrated benefits thatwe will get from being a part of a larger group and being a regionalbrand. You will see Ooredoo appearing in regional publications. Thiswill help us to leverage some of the regional advertising properties.Given this background and growing regional and local options, it isimportant that the local media delivers value.The growing salience of social media poses another threat/opportunity for media entities.The usage behaviour of our clients has changed we are dealingwith smartphone penetration and enhanced text messaging. Peoplehave broadband phones and there are increasing number optionsavailable through apps and social media. This poses a challenge forproviders like us, says Abdullatif.Social media as a communication platform that has its ear to the20Firas SteitiyehManaging Director, TOP Amman, JordanThe media demonstrates certain trends that showstraits of an immature market, says Young. There is noculture of investigative journalism. Journalists come topress conferences, pick up their gifts and go. There is littleawareness or interest in engaging in a discussion.The media needs to be more performance driven. Thenews in the Arabic media is just PR and journalists need tobe encouraged to investigate, adds Al Busaidi.Every single media sales person who comes to meet mestarts with selling the discount, says Jepsen. They dontunderstand that I am not buying the discount, I want toget value and mileage for my products. It may have to dowith the fact that you hardly see the same sales personin a company twice, because of the targets and stuff likethat for me, it is annoying. There is very little trust in thecredibility of the media.Over a period of time, the market has become adiscount-driven one, with media houses offeringridiculous discounts on card rates. Other offerssuch as free adverts and freebies are thrown into entice clients. A number of marketers averto this, forcing them to buy space they wouldnot ordinarily buy in other markets as they areallocated a budget from their principals and ifthey do not spend the amount, they will get asmaller allocation next year.The lack of industry-based metrics, such asaudits, viewership/listenership data, circulation orreadership figures, remains a black hole. SaleemAhmed Abdullatif, general manager of marketingat Omantels consumer business unit, says: With 9. ground has become a very critical part of our communicationsmix, adds Young. In many ways it is complementary to ourbusiness as it drives telecom connectivity and demand frombroadband. It provides us with a double-edged benefit it is anengagement platform with customers and a stimulator for ourbusiness.Social media can be a double-edged sword, as the wrong statementcan spread rapidly and needs to be responded to quickly. Unlikea press release in a newspaper, for which a company can take aconsiderable period of time to respond, the same luxury is notavailable on social media.22But the fault does not always lie at the doorstep of the media there are times when the client or agency fails to create relevantor interesting communication.For a good advertising campaign, you need a few things like agood product, a product that is simple to use, easy to understandand buy, says Abdullatif. I am the product owner and I need tounderstand my product and explain it to the agency because theydo not understand my product. They need to know what I want todo with my product, so it comes down to the brief and whetherit is clear and timely. The other thing is how much time and effortis an agency ready to give to a campaign and how stretched theyare. At Omantel, we give a brief and then have a session with theagency they come and tell us what they understand from thebrief, so that we can bridge any gaps. So the fault lies both withclients and the agency.The capability of advertising agencies in the country needs toimprove there is too much reliance on expertise from outsidethe country and, sometimes, you do not get the right flavour orcultural nuances in the creative, adds Young. While social mediais a platform that clients are looking at closely, everyone agreesthat real advertising spending on this is still a few years away. Inthe meantime, advertisers are shifting to other platforms thatoffer a better return on investment.We use radio quite a bit for the personal touch, says Jepsen.We use radio because people are confined to a limited spaceand they are listening to the radio, so we only advertise duringdrive-time and you can see the difference. When we do a radioadvert the footfalls go up immediately, while you may not see anyspike if you use print. We follow up the radio campaign with a textmessage and that is the most effective.Roula KhatibHead of Advertising TOP 10. 24Return of RadioRadio is growing as a media of choice for advertisers in Oman.One of the main reasons for this is the emotional connect andinteractivity levels that presenters share with listeners. Theengagement levels for radio advertising are the highest forany mass media, which offers every opportunity for a brandsmessage to reach listeners. Unlike newspapers or television, radiois everywhere in the car, at work and in the home. Comparedwith the cost of reaching a similar-sized audience with the samefrequency, radio advertising has a pretty reasonable entry cost(commercial time cost) that can be tailored to a specific need orbudget.Once we moved away from print media and into radio andSMS, we shaved off 40 per cent of our advertising budget andour turnover has gone up, says Jepsen. In print media, one addoes not work. You need to put an ad in a leading newspaper fortwo weeks and they charge an arm and a leg they are reallyexpensive. Radio is not a cheaper option, but a more effectiveoption compared with print.Mohammed Al FareiManaging Director, Zeenah GroupWorldwide, a brand appears in a certainmedia regularly to connect with itsaudience, but in Oman you find brandsthat jump from title to title. Marketersgo with where they get the cheapestrates. While they think they are gainingfrom the deal, they dont realise that thebrand is not strategically benefitting fromsuch moves - Mohammed Al FareiGiven the evolving music tastes of people in Oman, there is afeeling that there is room for more radio stations.I am a great fan of radio and I think radio has made a returnwith FM, says Najeeb Mohamed, general manager of FP7/MCT (Fortune Promoseven). Radio is bound to grow and thereis a space for another radio station which caters to the Indiansubcontinent diaspora. 11. 25Kim JepsenGeneral Manager, IDdesignPeople in Oman are evolving with their taste of music ourradio stations get numerous requests about airing various kindsof music genres at different drive-time hours, which wasnt thecase earlier, adds Mayur. A variety of radio stations would alsoallow advertisers to profile their audience.Radio has not merely come of age in Oman, but has establisheditself as the medium to beat in the Sultanate. Weve probablyonly seen the tip of the iceberg.We use radio because people areconfined to a limited space and theyare listening to the radio, so we onlyadvertise during drive-time and you cansee the difference - Kim JepsenPrint Media: Elephants Can DanceAny change in customer consumption patterns or marketersensibilities poses a grave threat to the print media bothnewspapers and magazines. The biggest shift in 2013-14 is theshift towards digital media. We have seen this in the readershipratings of our online editions and on the internet, plus Omanis 12. TOP SECTORS - BY ADV - PERCENTAGE CHANGESTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : ROinvolved in social media are growing rapidly and it is alarming to mediaentities like us, says Ahmed Essa Al Zedjali, chief executive of MuscatPress and Publishing House (MPPH) and editor-in-chief at Al Shabiba.And no wonder media companies are alarmed. Internet penetration inOman has hit 80 per cent, twice that of the global average. The sameis being seen across the GCC Kuwait has an internet penetration of99 per cent, Qatar and Bahrain 97 per cent and the UAE 94 per cent.Saudi is lagging at 64 per cent, but this is still above the global averageof 41 per cent. Clearly, the consumer shift to digital media began sometime ago and the sooner the media and advertising sector catch up,the better it will be for their bottom lines.Five years ago newspapers used to compete with each other, buttoday they compete with TV, radio, social media and even individualscreating content, so the challenges are on a bigger scale than before.Moreover, with 70 per cent of Omans population being below theage of 30, and 50 per cent being below the age of 15, the younger26generation is expected to adopt social media faster fromhere on.The challenge for us is that there are individuals in themarket who are creating news. They steal news from AlShabiba, Times of Oman and other media and publish it ontheir websites, and there is no law to stop them. Tomorrow,if Times of Omans readership goes to these websites, thenwe will lose advertising, says Al Zedjali.According to Mediates survey, social media users consumed63.2 per cent of news content. Moreover, people ownmore than one mobile device and 68.3 per cent of peopleconsume news on their smartphones. Aware of this tectonicshift, traditional media houses are gearing themselvesto combat the imminent onslaught. For example, MPPHis focusing heavily on digital media. When hiring, theyhave mandated that journalists should have the ability tomultitask and contribute to the digital side of the business.The organisation has created digital services such as WhatsNews in English and Whats Al Youm in Arabic. The mediahouse also has a TV channel on YouTube and it is planning tointroduce many more mobile services.Unfortunately, most agencies in Oman are classic and theydo not want to change into new markets, says Al Zedjali.Tomorrow, even if we invest in new media, technologyand trends, the advertising agencies will not be ready toacknowledge these trends as they are caught up in a classicalmould.The shift towards digital is an acknowledged fact, but fornow print remains the overwhelming medium of choice foradvertisers, for various reasons. Explaining the prominenceof the print media, Raman says: A lot of this is to do withthe nature of advertising in Oman, which is tactical announcements, sale, promotions and so newspapers tendto get a larger share.In Oman there is a nice habit of doing things with caution,second there is a sense of inertia, Mohamed says. Thereis a safety valve or cocoon that has been built. When youhave a share of voice, wherein 80 per cent goes into print,GCC ADSPEND - 2012.13GCC AD SPENDFROM JAN 2012 TO DEC 20132012 2013Amount in : ROCOUNTRY AMOUNT AMOUNT % SHARE % CHANGEUAE 710,852,211 778,567,405 37% 10%KSA 619,659,626 616,931,431 30% 0%KUWAIT 373,476,771 364,616,910 18% -2%QATER 125,746,077 147,936,929 7% 18%OMAN 111,879,877 109,399,524 5% -2%BAHRAIN 77,331,839 60,080,383 3% -22%Totals 2,018,946,401 2,077,532,582 100%IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/20142012 2013SECTOR AMOUNT AMOUNT % CHANGEMILITARY EQUIPMENTS 3,960FOODS 1,067,654 1,460,933 37%UPKEEP PRODUCTS 333,788 401,996 20%TRANSPORTATION & ACCESSORIES 1,307,117 1,554,003 19%BANKING & FINANCE 9,285,613 10,679,731 15%FURNITURE & DECORATION 2,041,224 2,268,273 11%PROPERTY & BUILDING & ACC. 6,536,564 7,206,541 10%MEDICINE & HEALTH CARE 5,034,651 5,402,944 7%AGRICULTURE & GARDENING EQUIPMENT 61,977 65,417 6%CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES 2,532,389 2,631,419 4%DIVERSITIES 5,374,620 5,581,319 4%DISTRIBUTION 3,621,445 3,732,126 3%AUTOMOTIVE 11,316,056 11,361,680 0%INDUSTRIAL SECTOR 1,829,852 1,796,028 -2%ENERGY 1,257,919 1,206,883 -4%OFFICE SUPPLIES 3,204,894 2,979,472 -7%TELECOMMUNICATION 3,355,070 3,074,026 -8%SERVICING COMPANIES 23,740,812 21,484,306 -10%HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES 2,601,567 2,288,719 -12%AUDIO,VIDEO & PHOTO EQUIPMENTS 1,083,463 947,538 -13%NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS 1,231,803 1,073,946 -13%MEDIA & PUBLISHING & ADVERTISING 1,042,223 896,685 -14%ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE 12,087,223 10,114,996 -16%HYGIENE & BEAUTY CARE 2,149,419 1,692,785 -21%SPORT 1,336,336 798,840 -40%FABRICS & BEDDING 151,099 82,643 -45%Totals 103,584,777 100,787,209IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014 13. 27TOP SECTORS - BY ADVT SPENDSSTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013SECTOR AMOUNT AMOUNT % CHANGESERVICING COMPANIES 23,740,812 21,484,306 -10%AUTOMOTIVE 11,316,056 11,361,680 0%BANKING & FINANCE 9,285,613 10,679,731 15%ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE 12,087,223 10,114,996 -16%PROPERTY & BUILDING & ACC. 6,536,564 7,206,541 10%DIVERSITIES 5,374,620 5,581,319 4%MEDICINE & HEALTH CARE 5,034,651 5,402,944 7%DISTRIBUTION 3,621,445 3,732,126 3%TELECOMMUNICATION 3,355,070 3,074,026 -8%OFFICE SUPPLIES 3,204,894 2,979,472 -7%CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES 2,532,389 2,631,419 4%HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES 2,601,567 2,288,719 -12%FURNITURE & DECORATION 2,041,224 2,268,273 11%INDUSTRIAL SECTOR 1,829,852 1,796,028 -2%HYGIENE & BEAUTY CARE 2,149,419 1,692,785 -21%TRANSPORTATION & ACCESSORIES 1,307,117 1,554,003 19%FOODS 1,067,654 1,460,933 37%ENERGY 1,257,919 1,206,883 -4%NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS 1,231,803 1,073,946 -13%AUDIO,VIDEO & PHOTO EQUIPMENTS 1,083,463 947,538 -13%MEDIA & PUBLISHING & ADVERTISING 1,042,223 896,685 -14%SPORT 1,336,336 798,840 -40%UPKEEP PRODUCTS 333,788 401,996 20%FABRICS & BEDDING 151,099 82,643 -45%AGRICULTURE & GARDENING EQUIPMENT 61,977 65,417 6%MILITARY EQUIPMENTS 3,960Totals 103,584,777 100,787,209IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014by the sheer rule of probability and past experience of doingcampaigns and realising that these have brought benefits,clients put in their money thinking and hoping that they willreap benefits. Morad Awad, agency head at The Agency/SABCO Art Events, adds: Oman is largely driven by the publicsector and there are a number of people who read newspapersin their offices. Probably this explains the predominance of thenewspapers.The big lacuna in print is the lack of any scientific metrics togauge accountability and responsiveness. The media fakesclaimed numbers and, without any authentic numbers,advertising becomes a matter of relationships. There aresome silver linings emerging in this bleak scenario, with somepublishers seeking audits.Agencies: Creators and FacilitatorsAdvertising agencies worldwide are changing from merecreators to consultants and brand custodians, who guide andhelp clients to reach their goals. But, unfortunately, thereseems to be a disconnect on both sides of the divide in Oman agencies are seen as mere vendors by clients, while the mediaand agencies share more of a love-hate relationship than asymbiotic one.The disconnect stems from fundamental and age-old issuesthat remain unresolved. Let us look at a few of these. Thethree-cornered relationship between clients, agencies andSayyid Nasr Bin Badr Al BusaidiMember of the National Youth Commission, and Chairperson of theCommunication and Public Relations sub-committee of the National YouthCommissionthe media continues to be a stumbling block because of alack of transparency and trust. It also stems from a deeperproblem related to the lack of clarity on the role of an agencyvis-a-vis media houses. Media houses and agencies have acomplementary role in bringing benefits to the client, but legacyissues in Oman mean they are seen as being in conflict. Agenciesdo not share client knowledge with the media as they fear a lossof control and their fears are not unfounded, as media partnersdo not value the role of agencies and tend to deal directly withclients.To set things right, all three entities need to strike a healthypartnership, says Raman. Media going to clients directly is abig issue, not merely because of a loss of media commission, butthe larger issue at stake is about controlling the brand.Most clients see advertising agencies as a vendor and not as apartner, adds Mohamed. We can develop a brand as a partnerand not as a vendor. People see Oman as a trading market but,after Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Oman has the largest land area andthere are a number of manufacturing units and industrial estateswhich have come up with their own brands, so there is a goodcase for building home-grown brands.The media feels that agencies do not invest in research andplanning and are unable to give their clients the right advice andguidance. Most business owners still see advertising as a costand not as an investment, and in the lack of proper return oninvestment they keep shifting from one agency to another.We would love to work with agencies as they have multipleclients and they help out with the creative and logistics like billing,collection, etcetera, says Al Zedjali. We want agencies to growbecause if agencies grow the media will grow. Unfortunately, 14. the problem is that the agencies are not willing toinvest in their resources.Creativity ConundrumsThe quality of creative work in Oman also leavesmuch to be desired, according to Narayan Iyer,general manager at OHI Leo Burnett.The quality of work is below par. This is becauseneither clients nor the agencies are ready tocommit budgets and resources to the creativeprocess, or the development of an advertisement,Iyer says. All the money is spent on releases. Thecreation and production of an advertisement hastaken a secondary role. Neither the agencies northe clients want to experiment as everyone wantsto play safe.You see some ads that do not make any sense,adds Awad. In some advertisements the designleaves much to be desired. Even if the concept iswrong, agencies should at least get the executionright, but a number of ads get the basics wrong.The dominance of expatriates and a lack ofqualified Omanis remains one of the biggestdrawbacks of agencies in the Sultanate.Most expatriates think in English and the creativegets converted into Arabic, says Singh. If an28TOP COMPANIES BY ADVERTISING % CHANGESTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013DISTRIBUTOR Amount Amount % ChangeHOMES R US 180 70,580 39111.1%TAQA 113 43,744 38783.6%SHANFARI GROUP OF COMPANIES 75 17,592 23356.0%EXCEL DENTAL CLINIC 400 86,465 21516.3%AL DIWANEYA OMANI SWEETS 250 45,210 17983.8%UNITED SYSTEMS 370 62,333 16746.6%NABIL 1,400 199,250 14132.1%DAR AL SHERAA 250 34,698 13779.0%WATTAYAH MOTORS L.L.C 255 29,185 11344.9%REEM AL SHAHBAA STONES 300 33,502 11067.3%SAFETY FIRST 1,349 150,215 11037.3%MUSCAT HEATERS INDUSTRY LLC 324 30,721 9381.8%BAIT AL ZUBAIR 216 19,760 9047.9%INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR TRAVEL & TOURISM580 52,345 8925.0%SCIENCEAL KAUTHER DESIGNER WEAR 965 77,738 7955.8%RENNA 1,144 74,435 6406.6%BADR AL SAMAA POLYCLINIC 300 19,350 6350.0%IBN AL NAFEES 18,900 1,182,725 6157.8%JABEL WATTAYAH RESTAURANT 360 19,099 5205.3%SITCO LLC 2,618 131,970 4940.9%KANAAN MEDICAL CENTER 476 21,132 4339.5%HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL 420 18,366 4272.9%DANUBE 695 29,387 4128.3%ARABIAN TRUST REAL ESTATE CO. 1,454 59,965 4024.1%MINISTRY OF OIL & GAS 1,518 60,391 3879.6%GULF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 350 13,759 3831.1%DURAR SMART SOLUTIONS 510 19,985 3818.6%SAFEER HOTEL SUITES 3,430 133,455 3790.8%BAIT AL DONIA 400 15,544 3785.9%MUSCAT AIR CONDITIONING & ELECTRONICS 7,545 251,509 3233.4%REEM BATTERIES & POWER APPLIANCES CO. 1,140 36,476 3099.6%UNITED REAL ESTATE CO. 2,005 52,079 2497.4%HELAL AL BUSAIDI 5,579 111,595 1900.3%TECHNICAL TRADING 15,076 270,820 1696.4%GENERAL TRADING ENTERPRISES LLC 3,360 60,017 1686.2%UM AL ZAMAYEM RESTAURANT 1,680 26,430 1473.2%SEMBCORP SALALAH 4,242 63,324 1392.8%NPA EVENTS 3,470 51,765 1391.8%DAIMLER 1,790 24,488 1268.0%KOBE SIZZLERS 2,400 32,100 1237.5%AL KHINJI REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT 1,100 13,782 1152.9%AL MADINA GULF INSURANCE 8,096 101,331 1151.6%AL KAWTHAR CLOTHING 1,980 22,698 1046.4%HOOR ENTERPRISES 14,020 159,800 1039.8%HAIFA INDUSTRIAL SERVICES CO. LLC 3,400 38,599 1035.3%NEW STAR TRAVELS & TOURS 4,815 53,886 1019.1%AL-HAMDNI FOR REAL ESTATE 2,468 27,088 997.8%ENKA 1,590 17,384 %993.3RAHEEB MARINE TOURS 6,384 66,984 949.2%AL REYAMI GROUP 4,455 43,578 878.2%IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014Ajit SinghGroup General Manager Retail, Asha EnterprisesOmani/Arabic creative person thinks of something it is sure to be far better as thelatter are clued into local mores. On the strategic side, there seems to be littlethought given to the timing and periodicity of releases.Worldwide, a brand appears in a certain media regularly to connect with itsaudience, but in Oman you find brands that jump from title to title, says Al Farei.Marketers go with where they get the cheapest rates. While they think theyare gaining from the deal, they dont realise that the brand is not strategicallybenefitting from such moves. 15. 30TOP BRANDS BY ADVERTISINGSTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013BRAND AMOUNT AMOUNT % CHANGECLASSIFIED ADS 5,371,880 5,581,319 4%MINISTRY OF MANPOWER 3,860,352 3,615,125 -6%BANK MUSCAT 1,973,544 2,389,538 21%OMANTEL 1,852,434 1,794,901 -3%NATIONAL BANK OF OMAN 1,138,719 1,270,324 12%IBN AL NAFEES 18,900 1,182,725 6158%MCDONALD'S 923,876 1,024,716 11%NISSAN 1,555,641 1,002,486 -36%TOYOTA 947,183 997,550 5%LULU HYPERMARKET 864,425 981,928 14%ROYAL OPERA HOUSE MUSCAT 1,468,586 914,636 -38%NAWRAS TELECOM 758,373 874,444 15%THE WAVE MUSCAT 714,668 856,116 20%PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION 629,568 807,912 28%MANAM HOTEL APARTMENTS 776,410 759,095 -2%MINISTRY OF HOUSING, ELECTRICITY AND WATER 1,187,443 695,102 -41%BANK DHOFAR 420,254 674,850 61%VISION INVESTMENT SERVICES CO. 517,241 673,571 30%BANK SOHAR 616,043 671,104 9%KIA 616,138 620,159 1%HYUNDAI 420,740 558,942 33%DELL 337,251 552,206 64%MITSUBISHI 453,562 545,772 20%HSBC 733,196 519,069 -29%OMAN AIR 286,972 511,273 78%MINISTRY OF EDUCATION 320,684 510,525 59%MUSCAT MUNICIPALITY 712,608 505,588 -29%GOLDEN FAMILY BAKERY 290,770 503,979 73%PHILIPS 292,103 486,689 67%DAIKIN 457,598 462,312 1%MUGHLAI ZAIKA 444,648 455,297 2%ROYAL OMAN POLICE 889,954 445,958 -50%MINISTRY OF DEFENSE 170,815 440,585 158%AL MAHA CERAMICS 540,742 432,352 -20%JEEP 235,621 416,558 77%MINISTRY OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY 229,375 410,549 79%RICOH 585,883 408,425 -30%OMAN ARAB BANK 310,474 407,600 31%TATA 529,932 400,230 -24%PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR ELECTRICITY & WATER 398,666 #DIV/0!AL WASEET SERVICES 498,925 396,925 -20%MUGHLAI CONTINENTAL 393,113 394,289 0%AHLI BANK 323,555 381,382 18%CHEVROLET 414,999 378,738 -9%INFINITI 392,485 361,057 -8%GENERAL ESTABLISHMENT FOR INDUSTRIAL AREAS 269,558 351,965 31%SEDAR 291,692 351,053 20%MINISTRY OF AWQAF & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS 163,578 350,783 114%BMW 217,602 342,140 57%RENAULT 522,004 337,402 -35%FORD 236,521 335,523 42%FINCORP 222,127 328,366 48%SULTAN QABOOS UNIVERSITY 222,588 327,141 47%SWISS ARABIAN 336,413 326,330 -3%BAYT.COM 100,735 319,810 217%NATIONAL FINANCE COMPANY 324,840 319,333 -2%ASTER HOSPITAL 346,335 315,209 -9%DODGE 483,038 311,156 -36%ARABIAN GULF ENTERPRISES 112,150 308,000 175%KIMS 281,740 307,266 9%OMAN OASIS 382,876 303,413 -21%A'SAFFA 244,062 293,812 20%IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014Iyer points to a more fundamental flaw: Omanis not even a tactical market, it is more of I willadvertise when I want to. Clients dont feel thatadvertising is adding value to their business.In terms of creativity, things are changing butthey are not changing as fast as they should. Alot of agencies blame clients for not buying goodwork, but agencies are equally to blame for notthinking out of the box. For example, agenciesget even simple things such as the choice ofadverts for a particular media wrong. A lot ofagencies still present creative proposals in theform of newspaper adverts to clients, knowingfull well that the client is not even going to haveone newspaper advert.Agencies also do not have people who aretrained to think on outdoors, says Raman. Forexample, you see outdoor versions of print adsand they are pathetic, with no readability, thewrong choice of colours. The same is happeningwith digital as there is hardly anyone whounderstands the format. Most agencies struggleto provide artworks forget creativity when itcomes to digital.With a number of global agencies linking upwith Oman-based ones, the question beingasked is whether the Sultanate is becoming amore attractive proposition for internationalagencies. But the truth seems to lie somewhereelse.Before 2008, Dubai built up capacities whichwere far in excess of its needs, says Iyer. Whenthe global financial crisis took place, theseagencies started looking at regional clientsand thats the time that international agenciesstarted diversifying into Oman, Qatar, Kuwait,and other GCC markets. Moreover, the marginson working with some of the bigger regionalclients is better.There have been instances when hole-in-the-wallagencies from Dubai have faked theircapabilities to win clients in Oman.The system can be abused in any market but,in principle, it is good to choose agencies thathave international exposure, says Raman.Some people use Dubai as a catchphrase for allsolutions, which is wrong you will find goodand mediocre agencies in all markets, so it isabout choosing carefully. 16. 31TOP COMPANIES BY ADVERTISINGSTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013Distributor Amount Amount % ChangeUNSPECIFIED 5,647,411 5,835,904 3.3%MINISTRY OF MANPOWER 3,897,189 3,615,125 -7.2%BANK MUSCAT 1,973,544 2,389,538 21.1%SUHAIL BAHWAN GROUP 2,684,280 2,144,192 -20.1%OMANTEL 1,852,434 1,776,371 -4.1%SAUD BAHWAN GROUP 1,392,440 1,560,726 12.1%OTE 1,371,551 1,430,818 4.3%NATIONAL BANK OF OMAN 1,138,719 1,270,324 11.6%IBN AL NAFEES 18,900 1,182,725 6157.8%AL HASHAR GROUP 1,090,890 1,177,267 7.9%MUSTAFA SULTAN ENTERPRISES 1,289,815 1,175,610 -8.9%MUSCAT ELECTRONICS 1,452,972 1,071,031 -26.3%MCDONALD'S CORPORATION 923,876 1,024,716 10.9%EMKE GROUP 866,125 994,828 14.9%GOVERNMENT OF OMAN 1,468,586 914,636 -37.7%MUSCAT MUNICIPALITY 1,451,060 902,547 -37.8%NAWRAS TELECOM 758,373 874,444 15.3%THE WAVE MUSCAT 749,058 856,116 14.3%DHOFAR AUTOMOTIVE 1,256,528 835,209 -33.5%PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION 629,568 807,912 28.3%MANAM HOTEL APARTMENTS 776,410 759,095 -2.2%KHIMJI RAMDAS 710,257 705,195 -0.7%OMAN OASIS 738,570 698,423 -5.4%MINISTRY OF HOUSING, ELECTRICITY AND WATER 1,187,443 695,102 -41.5%OMAR ZAWAWI ESTABLISHMENT 652,382 676,174 3.6%BANK DHOFAR 420,254 674,850 60.6%VISION INVESTMENT SERVICES CO. 517,241 673,571 30.2%BANK SOHAR 616,043 671,104 8.9%ZUBAIR AUTOMOTIVE GROUP 522,385 668,524 28.0%AL FUTTAIM GROUP 376,366 642,129 70.6%GENETCO 597,535 625,931 4.8%LANDMARK GROUP 596,089 609,039 2.2%HSBC 733,196 519,069 -29.2%OMAN AIR 301,270 518,533 72.1%CAPITAL STORE 550,195 516,555 -6.1%MINISTRY OF EDUCATION 321,644 510,525 58.7%GOLDEN FAMILY BAKERY 290,770 503,979 73.3%BETTERHOMES 118,479 489,243 312.9%MUGHLAI ZAIKA 444,648 455,297 2.4%ROYAL OMAN POLICE 889,954 445,958 -49.9%MINISTRY OF DEFENSE 170,815 440,585 157.9%AL MAHA CERAMICS 540,742 432,352 -20.0%TOWELL AUTO CENTRE 336,568 415,895 23.6%RELIABLE INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE 421,141 415,563 -1.3%MINISTRY OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY 229,375 410,549 79.0%OMAN ARAB BANK 310,474 407,600 31.3%AL JENAIBI INT'L. AUTOMOBILES 274,092 398,922 45.5%PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR ELECTRICITY & WATER 398,666 #DIV/0!AL WASEET SERVICES 498,925 396,925 -20.4%MUGHLAI CONTINENTAL 393,113 394,289 0.3%SHAH NAGARDAS MANJI & CO 257,460 393,513 52.8%OITE 493,350 391,938 -20.6%AHLI BANK 323,555 381,382 17.9%MINISTRY OF AWQAF & RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS 163,578 375,858 129.8%GENERAL ESTABLISHMENT FOR INDUSTRIAL AREAS 269,558 351,965 30.6%SEDAR EMIRATES 291,692 351,053 20.4%AL-MAMORH REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT 57,848 342,884 492.7%WATTAYAH MOTORS 230,007 340,075 47.9%FINCORP 222,127 328,366 47.8%SULTAN QABOOS UNIVERSITY 222,588 327,141 47.0%SWISS ARABIAN 336,413 326,330 -3.0%IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014Morad AwadAgency Head, The Agency/SABCO Art EventsIn some advertisements,design leaves much to bedesired. The concept must notbe flawed and the executionmust be spot on. There are anumber of clients and agenciesthat do not get the basicsright. Morad AwadOutdoors: The Next FrontierOutdoors is another media format that was inthe news last year, largely due to the entry ofJC Decaux. Secondly, advertising spending onoutdoors has also shot up. We use outdoorbased on the campaign, says Abdullatif.There are places where we have a long-termagreement with media owners.There are others who are less than receptiveabout outdoor media. The outdoor processwill go through a correction process, as it hasspiralled and is no longer value for money, saysYoung. By that I mean the costs incurred inkeeping the outdoor refreshed.We do not use outdoors because our brandowners see it as a downgrade, adds Jepsen.People drive through the same road for a yearand they only have a couple of seconds to lookat the outdoor ad.Looking AheadThe efficiencies caused by quality and pricing inOmans market will continue across industriesand verticals. Some of the bigger players on the 17. agency side will lose out if they are not willing to change. One can expectmany more specialised agencies coming up in digital space. The mediaindustry is going to change with the ensuing opportunities in mobile andonline advertising. The larger infrastructure and tourism projects in Omanwill prove to be the next big frontier.Overall, the operative word seems to be incoherence and it is prevalentat all levels there is a divide between advertisers/marketers andconsumers. Consumers have moved on to new media, but advertisers arestill spending their money on traditional platforms. This disconnect stemsfrom age-old mindsets and resistance to change. If marketers continue32TOP BRANDS BY ADVERTISING % CHANGESTATEX - OMAN CUMULATIVE QUANTITATIVE MONITORINGDate : From January to December 2013Amount in : RO2012 2013BRAND AMOUNT AMOUNT % CHANGEHOMES R US 180 70,580 39111%TAQA 113 43,744 38784%OPTOMA 81 31,460 38740%EXCEL DENTAL CLINIC 400 86,465 21516%AL DIWANEYA OMANI SWEETS 250 45,210 17984%UNITED SYSTEMS 370 62,333 16747%NABIL 1,400 199,250 14132%DAR AL SHERAA 250 34,698 13779%DAEWOO 950 119,190 12446%WATTAYAH MOTORS L.L.C 255 29,185 11345%REEM AL SHAHBAA STONES 300 33,502 11067%SAFETY FIRST 1,349 150,215 11037%MUSCAT HEATERS INDUSTRY LLC 324 30,721 9382%INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR TRAVEL & TOURISM SCIENCE 580 52,345 8925%AL KAUTHER DESIGNER WEAR 965 77,738 7956%RENNA 1,144 74,435 6407%IBN AL NAFEES 18,900 1,182,725 6158%DANUBE 695 29,387 4128%MINISTRY OF OIL & GAS 1,518 60,391 3880%SAFEER HOTEL SUITES 3,430 133,455 3791%REX.ROTARY 2,618 79,910 2952%WESTERN DIGITAL 1,450 31,066 2042%RIYAM COMPUTER SERVICES 2,850 58,928 1968%HELAL AL BUSAIDI 5,579 111,595 1900%SEMBCORP SALALAH 4,242 63,324 1393%KOBE SIZZLERS 2,400 32,100 1238%AL MADINA GULF INSURANCE 8,096 101,331 1152%YAMAHA 3,450 40,765 1082%HOOR ENTERPRISES 14,020 159,800 1040%HAIFA INDUSTRIAL SERVICES CO. LLC 3,400 38,599 1035%MODECOM 2,900 32,624 1025%NEW STAR TRAVELS & TOURS 4,815 53,886 1019%PEBEO 3,450 38,200 1007%AL-HAMDNI FOR REAL ESTATE 2,468 27,088 998%RAHEEB MARINE TOURS 6,384 66,984 949%HUAWEI 3,240 32,638 907%AL BARA'A AL WATANIYA 2,990 29,145 875%SIEMENS 12,746 121,191 851%AYAAT TOWER 24,660 226,554 819%IRANI HOUSE RESTAURANT 4,330 38,840 797%ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY OF OMAN 3,735 32,804 778%WESTINGHOUSE 11,426 99,992 775%TAAGEER FINANCE COMPANY 16,772 145,909 770%REALITY KINGDOM 11,550 96,876 739%APPLE 4,855 38,805 699%VOLTAS 8,680 65,518 655%THE EMIRATES CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES AND9,000 66,204 636%RESEARCHSHAH NAGARDAS MANJI & CO 13,034 89,963 590%KFC 13,905 95,615 588%GREE 11,803 78,884 568%IPSOS STAT / Statex Printed 02/07/2014Najeeb MohamedGeneral Manager, FP7/MCT (Fortune Promoseven)throwing money on old media, their spending is sureto go into a big black hole. The sudden advent of digitaland social media has been a major game changer andthe media, agencies and advertisers need to change.Arming themselves with the knowledge to catch upwith technology and consumers is just a matter of time but this needs to be acknowledged and embracedquickly.DisclaimerThis article has been collated from IPSOS-STAT data and our informeddeductions and analysis. Despite such a fundamentally strong pool ofempirical evidence we would like readers, advertisers, agencies andpublishers to use the inferences in this article as a broad guideline,rather than an absolute given. The supporting data used in this articleis based on advertising card rates given by companies. As a standardoperating practice, media houses offer discounts ranging anywherebetween 30 to 50 percent on these rates and readers can arrive atmore realistic figures by doing a back of the envelope calculation.